Some questions still loom as training camp begins and the season inches closer. Will the Nashville Predators make any more moves?
Matt Duchene to the Nashville Predators has been a rumor since last season’s trade deadline. The asking price seems to vary depending on the day. Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic has shopped around the NHL for months to no avail. Word on the block was that a Duchene to the Islanders deal was also in the works. But the Islanders wouldn’t give up Travis Hamonic and a high pick, rightfully so. Hamonic is an excellent defensive defenseman who is exactly what the Avalanche need. But if a top pairing defenseman wasn’t enough for the Avalanche, what will be?
The rumors around the Nashville Predators
Spoiler, it’s a king’s ransom. Elliotte Friedman reported that it’ll likely be a current top four defenseman plus a prospect or pick. Just off the bat, I think all Predators fans will agree that’s a terrible trade. Matt Duchene would be a great addition to the second line, but the top four is literally the best in the league. Giving up a strength to address a weakness, especially a mild weakness, isn’t smart.
The likely top four defenseman headed to Colorado
Well, it’s not going to be P.K. Subban or Roman Josi, so let’s get that out of the way. So that leaves Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm. Ryan Ellis is currently out till at earliest January first and cannot be trade bait until he’s healthy. Is Ekholm the odd man out? I sure hope not. My Ekholm obsession is well documented on this blog, after all. But I think it’s safe to assume that the top four defenseman going to Colorado would be Mattias Ekholm.
The prospect/pick headed to Colorado
The prospects are likely a short list of Alexandre Carrier, Samuel Girard, or Dante Fabbro. It’s pretty clear that the Nashville Predators would have to offer a first round pick and maybe more for Duchene.
Even though the current rumors are outlandish, is there a possibility?
There’s a chance, although it’ll require Joe Sakic to act like a reasonable general manager. The Avalanche are not in win-now mode and anyone of the top four wouldn’t help them. The Avalanche would be better off getting a first through third round pick as well as a prospect. Carrier and a first round pick for Duchene would make sense for both teams. Even Fabbro and a second round pick would make some sense.
Will it happen?
There’s little to no chance of it happening. Sakic wants too much and Nashville Predators general manager David Poile is too smart. Good general managers don’t rush into trades, especially when it trades a strength. The theme of this whole rumor should be, “don’t sacrifice a strength to address a weakness”. Oddly enough, I think Duchene makes plenty of sense for the Predators but if the price remains that high, there’s no chance.